Hosting a dinner party

Go with me here kids…I’m taking a slight turn from the normal food path to discuss something that needs to be talked about.
Hosting dinner parties.

epiphany_01_02

photo courtesy of Helen Young

It hit me like a mack truck that I have no idea how to truly host a dinner party.  Our friend came over for dinner the other night and my kitchen looked like a bomb had been dropped smack dab in the middle of it.  Granted, I’d just finished cooking in that kitchen (and used every single mixing bowl, plate, utensil within an arm’s reach) so technically, I had an excuse I guess.  But let’s be honest, Martha Stewart would not have approved.  She would have gone all Catholic nun on me and smacked my knuckles with a ruler until they were black and blue….or at least until the kitchen was spotless.

As you all are probably aware, I’m an amateur at best in the kitchen.  The cooking and baking are things I’m learning to do as I go along.  So now we can add hosting to that list. Maybe some of you out there are like me. You have no idea where to begin. How do you plan the meal? Set the table? Keep the dogs from jumping on the counter and stealing all of the food? Unfortunately, I have no earthly idea, but I’m happy to report that my sweet blogger friend, Helen Young, of Whitehaven Interiors, does.  And luckily, she’s answered my cry for help and has kindly laid it all out so simpletons like me can understand.

So kids, stay tuned because tomorrow Helen is here to save the day! Oh and just in case you were wondering, Tuesday will officially be referred to as How to Host a Dinner Party here at YAWYEOR.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Hosting a dinner party

  1. Sent here from Bon Appetit, Hon. Look forward to popping in tomorrow to see the tips!

  2. Katie, Kitch up there is also a White Trash Food Expert. And she’s good people.

    How do I host a dinner party? I try and get as much done as I can in advance. And then sit back and enjoy a vodka tonic.

    • I like the vodka tonic part. I could get behind that. :)

      • How could I have forgotten my #1 tip – outsource where you can. I don’t mean to ask folks to bring stuff…cause that’s a different kind of party…but things like hitting the best bbq joint in town instead of fretting over an entree or letting your favorite bakery supply dessert.

  3. I recently bought a book called ‘Rita’s Culinary Trickery’ by Rita Konig. It was only AUD$4.99 so I though I might as well. I’ve been slowly reading it and I think it’s great. It talks about entertaining and there’s an entire chapter devoted to the dinner party.

    I’ve always wanted to host a more sophisticated dinner party compared to my regular shindigs. I can’t wait to read Helen’s suggestions and wise words.

  4. I think it helps to be a little ocd when it comes to hostessing ;-)

    I set the table (for a simple dinner party) 1 to 2 nights before (because I almost always get takeout the night before a big to-do), prep as much as possible in the week leading up to the party, make copious lists as to timing and when each thing needs to be done and usually are pulling out the last heated hors d’oeuvres about the time the first guest arrives.

  5. William

    http://www.onlinesterling.com/helpfulhints/formal-table-setting.htm
    I realize that this is a bit more than is really called for but, this is where it should end up.
    A tip from someone who has a couple of hostings. Plan a week out at the minimum . Cook as much as possible 1/2 before the event so that everything is compleatly cooked. (Nothing worse than raw meat, or a cake that isn’t done in the middle). Third, if in-laws/relatives are in town, call on them to pull everything together. Seeing how someone else does it helps when you finally go solo.

  6. rhooby

    Oooooo, i loves a good dinner party!!!!! can’t wait to see what miss helen has to say and display!

  7. I have GOT to see this…if only for the absolutely hysterical writing style…kudos…I’ll be checking back in tomorrow…I subbed ya.

    Mel at Theme a Party

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